Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 110, Jazz 87

Smoove and the Hawks eventually forced Jazz fans to throw in the towel. (Steve Griffin / The Salt Lake Tribune)

Smoove and the Hawks eventually forced Jazz fans to throw in the towel. (Steve Griffin / The Salt Lake Tribune)

Salt Lake City–Wow.

  • The Hawks finished their West trip in style by waylaying the Jazz. It was surreal to see the fans in one of the league’s toughest building start leaving midway through the fourth quarter.
  • “As I told the guys before the game started, ‘Let’s turn a good road trip into a great road trip,’” L.D. said. “That was kind of our theme going into this game, and they did it. Just a great, great win.”
  • The Hawks have won five of six games. Joe and Jamal are getting healthier. Their defense looks better. They play four of their next five at home. They’ve survived a grueling schedule despite injuries to sit a half game behind Orlando for fourth fifth place in the East.
  • Could the Hawks finally be ready to get on an extended roll? “Why not?” Jamal said. “Other teams have had their chances to get on a run. I think it’s our time now. It’s a game tonight that a lot of people wouldn’t have bet on us. It was a gut check. It was a pretty convincing win against a great team.”
  • There’s no question about that. The Hawks were sharper, faster, tougher and better than the Jazz from start to finish.
  • “From start to finish I thought it was one of the most complete games where we controlled it from start to finish on both ends of the floor,” Drew said. “Defensively, I thought we did a great job. And then we actually got our and ran, made the extra pass.”
  • The Jazz could do nothing to stop the Hawks on the perimeter. If they appeared slow to react, it might have been because Atlanta passed the ball so crisply. And when they did manage to close out, the Hawks frequently made plays off the bounce.
  • “They pass the ball well,” Jerry Sloan said. “They got it to who was supposed to have the ball almost every possession. We didn’t seem to be able to do anything with it.”
  • It was shocking to see the Jazz unable to run their normally-silky offensive sets because the Hawks beat them to the punch. Deron Williams, among the league’s best point guards, was made to look ordinary by J.J. and Atlanta’s swarming help defense.
  • “I think we did a number on Deron,” Smoove said. “We did a good job with team defense.”
  • “We tried to take away a lot of the easy touches,” L.D. said. “The system that they run, they are so good at it. They put you in a position of switching and if you are not careful you can get back cut. I thought we did a good job of defending that. I think we forced them into more one-on-one situations than what they are accustomed to and then we defended it.”
  • J.J. was great at both ends. This was the first game in a while I can remember him so smoothly meshing his deliberate, one-on-one game into the rhythm of the offense. He picked his spots, let his teammates set him up and is starting to make more open jump shots.
  • “You can see he’s starting to find rhythm in his game and what we do,” Drew said. “He is incorporating his game in the movement that we’ve put in.”
  • The same can be said of Jamal, who scored at least 20 points for four straight games for the first time since he joined the Hawks. All of those efforts were efficient.
  • When Joe and Jamal are going like this while getting other involved, the Hawks are very difficult to defend.
  • “I think we are definitely getting healthier as a team,” Joe said. “We are starting to figure things out about how L.D. wants things to be run offensively and defensively. Most importantly, we are going out there and having fun.”
  • “I think it just took time,” Jamal said. “We just had to figure out how we were going about things. I think now we are doing a good job picking our spots. But we still have such an interior presence with Josh, Al and Zaza and all those guys in there.”
  • Al was making the shots that Jamal, Joe and Bibby (eight assists) created.
  • That’s where the Jazz could have used Paul Milsap, who was out with a hip injury. Al Jefferson was flummoxed all night by Atlanta’s bigs.
  • “We wanted to match their physicality,” Smoove said. “I think we did a good job at really pressuring them and stopping them from swinging the basketball easily. We got in the passing lanes and did a nice job of limiting them to one shot and rebounding and getting the ball out.”
  • The Hawks made 14 of 25 3-point attempts. That’s a lot of long balls to put up but they were quality looks: all but two of them were assisted, and one of those was Jamal’s 47-foot bank shot at the buzzer.
  • “We had great ball movement and we had some great looks,” L.D. said. “In most cases we won’t be taking that many threes. Joe got into a rhythm. Jamal got into a bit of a rhythm. They were within the flow of what we were doing.”
  • The Jazz tried to make a game of it in the third quarter but couldn’t get stops. The Hawks had 10 assists on 11 field goals and made 6 of 8 3-point attempts in the period.
  • The Jazz were a step behind trying to defend the three, probably because the Hawks gave them so many other things to worry about, too.
  • “A lot of that had to do with the way we tried to guard them in the post,” Sloan said. “They threw the ball out of the post a number of times for guys to be able to take shots. That’s one thing; the other is whenever they were looking for three-point shots we had trouble getting to them.”
  • Smoove was the early catalyst for the Hawks. He was all over the court as they raced out to a 20-6 lead. During that stretch he assisted on two of J.J.’s 3-pointers, plays that suggested they are rediscovering their chemistry. Josh also got an and-1 on the break, a steal and two rebounds during that opening burst.
  • The starters handed the reserves a big lead in the second quarter. It wasn’t always pretty, but they pretty much maintained. Mo made open shots, helped with the team defense and even looked pretty good on the break.
  • The Hawks returned to Atlanta to face the Pacers on Saturday. “Three big wins and coming off a great win like [against] the Jazz, it can definitely fuel you to a domino effect for us to string some wins here together,” J.J. said. “The East is tough, man, so we have got to get on a roll.”

MC

199 comments Add your comment

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

January 6th, 2011
1:15 am

I’d be remissed if I did not say “first”

Tom

January 6th, 2011
1:16 am

Great solid win!!!!

GaSouthernSmooth

January 6th, 2011
1:24 am

First? Good win Hawks, Jazz looked lost on offense at times without Millsaps. But FINALLY nice to see them beat a legit team. Now lets get on that roll J.J. was talking bout. O and it was hillarious seeing Heyward get schooled by J.J. after he got a big block and jumper in the second qtr. took the crowd right of it!

MsDee

January 6th, 2011
1:28 am

So many folks on here has been crying about ‘why the Hawks cant blow a team out’..well, CONGRADS’, WE JUST DID IT, AND AGAINST A TOUGH, PLAYOFF TEAM, ON THEIR DIFFICULT HOME COURT, WITH THE #1 PG IN THE LEAGUE..THE UTAH JAZZ!!!! And if the Hawks would not have blowned the huge lead last night against the Kings, we would have had back-to-back blow-outs against west coast teams!!!

Jae Evolution

January 6th, 2011
1:28 am

Jose Calderon had 20 Points and 17 Dimes tonight…I’m just sayin’.

rusty

January 6th, 2011
1:31 am

Enter your comments here

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

January 6th, 2011
1:35 am

I see the confidence building up in the veteran guards by their post game comment. L Drew’s test is to bring the younger guards up to speed and have confidence in them. Not nitpicking- GREAT WIN but I just see the big picture. I feel we will pass up the Magic in the next few games for 3rd in the East!

MsDee

January 6th, 2011
1:37 am

I just saw on the NBATV video clip of Jamal and Jerry Stackhouse how Jerry wants to play for the Hawks. Now sure why Sund didnt pick him up during the off season or even when Marvin & Mo Evans were both out early in the season??

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

January 6th, 2011
1:47 am

Ms Dee – Sund is dumb – simple as that.
And you are obviously right about finally getting another blowout win. A win is a win, but this was impressive – a statement game if you will.

Ramon

January 6th, 2011
1:51 am

Ramon

January 6th, 2011
1:44 am

Drmary, sorry for the late response, been having family time tonight. But from the previous blog. Jamal is a great player when he’s playing as he is now. And its hard to trade him when he’s playing like that.

However, When I say trade him for 2-3 good players, and you ask how can you make that happen, I think its quite simple. The Hawks aren’t truly in need of ’stars’, but more defensive minded players on the bench. For instance, I’d suggest Crawford and Mo Evans for Blaylock and Kaman. Or Crawford and Zaza for Camby and Miller. JC1 has been on a good streak lately. But do you realize this season against the Eastern teams who are ahead of us, JC1 is only averaging 12 points a game? Against the better defensive teams in the East JC1 is limited because the lanes close quicker. I believe in a package deal, you will receive more collective talent than you deal away. It will take quality depth to advance in the playoffs, not just 6-7 players who play at a high level sometimes. But 8-9 players who consistently contribute where ever their role is required. If you’re a defensive pg (Miller) don’t worry about scoring 20 ppg, just keep the opposing pg out of the lane. If you’re a back up big who’s job is to rebound and play smart defense, than get a rebound for every 2 minutes you’re in the game.

I would love to be able to improve the bench without trading any of the top 4 players. The problem with that is the rest of the 10 players are virtually impossible to trade and get something better in return.

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Ramon

January 6th, 2011
1:49 am

Sautee, when you consider how often Josh actually creates his own shot or creates shot for others (which would probably be only behind Joe and/or JC1) compared to Al method of normally being set up for his points by someone drawing the double off of his man. You must say, that 2-4 turnovers is a lot compared to 4 turnovers because of how the turnovers came. Its the same way Lebron or Wade can have 4-5 turnovers in a game (and they do that regularly), but it wouldn’t be as big of a problem as Al Jefferson having 2-3 turnovers. Josh still remains the Hawks player who can affect the game the most (on offense) without taking a single shot.

Ramon

January 6th, 2011
1:54 am

When Joe and Jamal make their shots, the Hawks look like a totally different team.

sam'l

January 6th, 2011
2:50 am

If the Hawks can play a game like this, they have a chance to win any game they play. The question is, is this really a progression that is likely to continue. Congratulations Hawks.

I have to wonder why anyone wants to trade Jamal Crawford. Isn’t it obvious that when he plays well, the Hawks win?

Bite the bullet. Give this guy some money….or (and I don’t know all the rules about signinig contracts) is it too late?

.

Jae Evolution

January 6th, 2011
2:53 am

How come the Hawks are always the last team on NBA.com to have the full game highlights shown…I swear.

northcyde

January 6th, 2011
3:07 am

@ Ramon.

Trading Jamal for “2 – 3 solid players” is not the way to go. The elite teams in this leagur have star players and very good players on their roster.

If you trade Jamal for merely a collection of “solid players”, what could happen to us is what just happened to Utah tonight.

As well coached as that team is, they have virtually no chance to get to that next level, because the only “star” player they have, is Deron. Utah’s roster is filled with solid players. But you need good players that can supplement star players.

Trading Jamal for a guy like an Andre Miller or a Marcus Camby would be decent moves to make. Miller is an above average PG and Camby is still an elite level rebounder and a decent shotblocker.

Anything less than that wouldn’t make us better.

Preferbly, we trade Jamal for an upgrade, like an Andre Iguodala. Of course, with our money situation, that’ll never happen.

More than likely, he doesn’t get traded.

I Believe In This Team

January 6th, 2011
4:05 am

The best part of the game was watching Utah try and charge back in the third, and the Hawks keeping them down by double digits. They never took their foot off the gas in this one.

Great win. Great game. Great road trip. Very happy fan. Thank you Hawks!!

Najeh Davenpoop

January 6th, 2011
6:06 am

The one day I choose to do something other than watch the Hawks game, they go out and do this. Maybe I should watch them less.

Najeh Davenpoop

January 6th, 2011
6:07 am

“For instance, I’d suggest Crawford and Mo Evans for Blaylock and Kaman.”

Hell yeah. I’m down with this. Get Mookie back in a Hawks uniform, and if Bibby won’t give up his #10 to him, he can go f-ck himself.

Najeh Davenpoop

January 6th, 2011
6:08 am

I wish nba.com would follow the lead of nfl.com and put every key play up on their website, not just a 2 minute highlight package ESPN style.

Najeh Davenpoop

January 6th, 2011
6:15 am

Slightly less Woody-esque minutes distribution in this game, although Teague and Jordan still got next to no burn. Not really complaining since the game went so well, just pointing it out. Only Al cracked the 35 minute mark, which is good.

Nice to know that the Hawks shared the ball and played inside-out for four quarters. It’s pretty simple — when they do that, they win.

For some reason the blog monster ate all the comments I posted from my phone on the previous blog. Don’t know why…

Najeh Davenpoop

January 6th, 2011
6:17 am

And about those 25 attempted 3’s, nothing wrong with 3s if they are going to be in rhythm and in the flow of the offense. The Suns built a very 3-reliant offense over the last several years, and the reason it worked is because they had a guy who could make sure all those 3s were in rhythm and in the flow. As long as the ball is still going inside to open up those opportunities, it’s fine with me.

O'Brien

January 6th, 2011
7:28 am

When JJ AND Jamal are making shots, we are tough to beat. But we’ve always known that. The problem is what’s the backup plan for when we face a good defensive team and the shots are not falling.

That being said, great team win for the Hawks. We rarely win in Utah, and we havent done well against playoff teams on the road. So this win was extra special.

And with 4 of our next 5 at home, hopefully this can be our springboard to a long winning streak.

Duello

January 6th, 2011
7:40 am

The problem with trading or resigning Jamal is the salary cap ramifications. Even with Jamal expiring, the Hawks are on the books for $63 million next year for 8 players. So that would leave only about $7 million for 5 players. So we could resign Jamal if he agreed to a contract for like $4 million/year, but I don’t think he’d be willing to take that steep of a paycut.

The same problem presents itself when trying to trade Jamal. If we take back any salary in the trade that will be on the books for next year, we’re guaranteeing that we will either be in the luxury tax (which AS has been unwilling to pay), or the Hawks will have to trade someone. Hence all the rumors around the league that Smoove would be available after the Hawks gave Al and extension.

Basically, if the Hawks resign or trade Jamal for non-expiring contracts, the Hawks will be forced to trade someone else.

dukester

January 6th, 2011
8:19 am

Good game Hawks lets keep it going. Ramon said it best when Joe and Jamal are on this is a tough team. The problem is can they play consistently for the rest of the season. I mean that was a Lebron and Wade type performance. It will never make ESPN except maybe the half court shot Jamal made. But let’s see what happens here on out.

Mike is back

January 6th, 2011
8:21 am

MC, very good stuff…I hate to sound repetitive…but frankly…you have been on fire of late…very good reading.

THE HAWKS played a complete game…and they looked like a different team…TREMENDOUS EFFORT!!!

HATS OFF TO JJ AND JAMAL…for first off being open and honest about their struggles with the system…and the will power to adjust their games to work within the framework of the system…MAN IT WAS BREATH TAKING AT TIMES WATCHING THE PRECISION AT WHICH THESE GUYS WAS PERFORMING ON OFFENSE AND DEFENSE…can we get some more of that…THAT WAS GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BTW, I loved when BIbby kiss the crowd good bye…WHAT a nice gesture…THAT WAS PRICELESS. heh heh

GET YO ROOOOOOOLL ON HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

terrell

January 6th, 2011
8:25 am

Just heard Stackhouse on NBA TV lobbying for a roster spot on the Hawks. They were interviewing Jamal after the game last night. lol!

Joey

January 6th, 2011
8:26 am

The best D that I’ve seen from every Hawk all season.

If they would just play that kind of D every game . . .

Double Zero Eight

January 6th, 2011
8:29 am

It looks like Drew does have a plan given the roster that he has.
I hope he gives Teague and Collins as much playing time as
possible prior to the playoffs. We will need their depth.

Geemack

January 6th, 2011
8:33 am

Great win by the Hawks.

This big line up is for real. I wonder why it’s taking Drew so long to make it permanent.

Also they really should consider making Jamal a starter. If Lebron & D-Wade and function together, why can’t Jamal and JJ?

A bench that includes Marvin, Bibby Mo, ZaZa, & Powell would match any bench in the league. Including the Celtics.

terrell

January 6th, 2011
8:44 am

Have we ever played 4 qtrs of good basketball like that with Marvin in the starting lineup? Gotta stay big imo. If it aint broke, dont fix it. Bring Marvin off the bench with Jamal.

drmaryb (*_*)

January 6th, 2011
8:45 am

That defense was reminiscent of the Lenny Wilkens Hawks, when Mookie and 4teve Smith (a very underrated defender, BTW) and of course Dikembe.

I’ll never forget beating MJ and The Bulls in The Omni, and in a post game interview, Scottie Pippen lamented, “The Hawks were swarming, we could not put the ball on the floor to move it because they were attacking the ball from everywhere on the floor.” It was like a bees nest to watch the Hawks blanket their opponents.

Last night I saw a glimpse of that intensity. It always started with Mookie and ended with the finger wagging Mutumbo! Those were the glory days.
We are young and log enough to play that way, but it takes desire to do it nightly! Oh how I wish.

Kerry

January 6th, 2011
8:47 am

Great game last night, I love when they have control of the entire game, I’m vey proud of them, Keep Up The Good Work!!!

terrell

January 6th, 2011
8:48 am

Geemack, why start Jamal? He’s our spark plug. Plus Bibby gets us in the flow of the game. A bench that includes Jamal, Marvin, Mo, Zaza, Powell, and Teague is even better than yours. lol!

terrell

January 6th, 2011
8:51 am

Dr Mary, I dare you talk about defense when talking about LD’s Hawks. “The Hawks are soft this year, and LD doesnt care about defense. All he cares about is his so called motion offense”. Aint that right Samuel? lol!

drmaryb (*_*)

January 6th, 2011
8:59 am

Terrell (don’t call me Te-relle)!

You stupid boy! I know you saw that glimpse of old school defense last night.

What’s up Baby-Boy? Where have you been hiding? We being trolled to death, but MC has no defensive solution for that. LOL! The AJC is slow.

Ha Ha! Go Defense!

ant banks

January 6th, 2011
9:02 am

right now we are 5th behind orlando. can we get outta the 2nd round? yes, we are havin’ a good regular season, but how will the playoffs pan out for us?

Fundamentals

January 6th, 2011
9:04 am

Excellent display of what happens when everyone buys in and plays their role. Complete inialation of one of the league’s best and most polished teams. We made them look stupid. Tremendous effort Hawks! Good job.

JeJe

January 6th, 2011
9:07 am

LOL. Not ONE mention of Marvin in the entire write-up.

“I think we are definitely getting healthier as a team,” Joe said. “We are starting to figure things out about how L.D. wants things to be run offensively and defensively. Most importantly, we are going out there and having fun.”

Joe said “we are definitely getting healthier as a team.” LOL!!!!!!!! Marvin is OUT. That shows how this team feels about this guy.

it was not a bad pick, where you at? Joe and Jamal are beasting right now

Time to get some rest and take care of some weaker teams

Fundamentals

January 6th, 2011
9:08 am

Terrel – in drmaryb’s defense, last night was the first real strong showing of great team defense this year.

Fundamentals

January 6th, 2011
9:10 am

Hopefully we’ll roll upon returning home. Typically this team comes out flat and loses or barely wins when they return home w/ a 2-3 day break.

Marvin should be back for the Indy game JeJe – guess it was not a bad pick will start watching games and the blog again. Hopefully Marvin will continue his improvement after 5-6 nice games.

terrell

January 6th, 2011
9:11 am

Isnt it funny, how some people ONLY come around here when the Hawks have a bad game? Or get “outcoached”? lol! If the Hawks woulda lost, LD woulda been clearly “over his head” trying to outwit Jerry Sloan. Give the Hawks and LD some credit when its due, and quit hiding. Yall know who I’m talking bout.

terrell

January 6th, 2011
9:12 am

I’ve bashed this team myself a few times this year, but I dont run and hide when they play well.

Fundamentals

January 6th, 2011
9:14 am

Played well? Almost Perfect last night terrell. Makes you wonder? I always said when they truly buy in and play 100% we’d destroy anyone. I still believe that. It’s just – do they as a team?

terrell

January 6th, 2011
9:19 am

Fundamentals, well maybe thats why Sund is hesitant to make any moves.

terrell

January 6th, 2011
9:22 am

I believe if Marvin woulda been in with the 2nd unit, that Sac game woulda been a blowout too. Just sayin.

Astro Joe

January 6th, 2011
9:43 am

Best win of the season (IMO). Mo Evans is playing really, really well lately. When Mo is hitting his shots he becomes extremely valuable to this team because we simply don’t have that many guys who can be effective on both ends of the court. So while I’m glad to see Joe and Jamal get back in rhythm, I’m most encouraged by Mo’s play of late.

Oh yeah, nice drive & slam Jordan Crawford!

Rev in Tampa

January 6th, 2011
9:44 am

Its good to see some swagger…

JJ – “I think we are definitely getting healthier as a team,” Joe said. “We are starting to figure things out about how L.D. wants things to be run offensively and defensively. Most importantly, we are going out there and having fun.”

JAMAL – “I think it just took time,” Jamal said. “We just had to figure out how we were going about things. I think now we are doing a good job picking our spots. But we still have such an interior presence with Josh, Al and Zaza and all those guys in there.”

JJ – “Three big wins and coming off a great win like [against] the Jazz, it can definitely fuel you to a domino effect for us to string some wins here together,” J.J. said. “The East is tough, man, so we have got to get on a roll.”

The Hawks haven’t been talking with this confidence before last night’s game. It is good to hear them talking like this. It means that they are starting to believe it.

I also found JJ’s quote about finally figuring out how LD wants things run on offense and defense especailly intriquing. Something was definitely different about how the Hawks looked as a team on both ends of the floor. Last night’s win was much more than hitting 3pt shots.

Rev in Tampa

January 6th, 2011
9:48 am

LOL – Marvin is disappearing even when he is out with injury, but Damien (who got waived) and Pape (who got sent down to D-league) both showed up and were mentioned in MC’s article.

I posted this last on last night’s blog, but I thought it was worth repeating. Sorry for reposting the same stuff. You can just call me JeJe.

O'Brien

January 6th, 2011
9:58 am

As a starter, Marvin might have felt over-confident, and he was not usually challenged for minutes. I think going to the bench could be the motivation needed to keep him playing well.

And a bench of Jamal, Marvin, ZaZa and Mo is a solid bench (imo). The only thing missing is a solid backup PG.

AJ,

I think the Orlando wins rank up there too, only because it helps get over the mental block of getting blown out in the playoffs last year.

kwooden1

January 6th, 2011
9:58 am

Great Win! With Joe and Jamal hitting shots along with the other guys contributing. They can score with anyone in the league. From whatever one has said they played great defense also.

GO HAWKS!!

Fundamentals

January 6th, 2011
10:06 am

Terrell – ASG can bank on efforts like last night as their team, but it won’t happen every day…or better yet it hasn’t to date. They still need to find ways to improve this team to truly be a contender. We need a post defender and a reliable PG, not a backup. Teague needs to show improvement just to be the backup for LD it seems. Bibby could serve that role, but we need solid PG play. Last night it was Bibby/Jamal/Joe serving in that role.